Volume 81, Issue 2, September 2010
Philip J. Nickel
Voluntary Belief on a Reasonable Basis
A person presented with adequate but not conclusive evidence for a proposition is in a position voluntarily to acquire a belief in that proposition, or to suspend judgment about it. The availahility of doxastic options in such cases grounds a moderate form of doxastic voluntarism not based on practical motives. and therefore distinct from pragmatism. In such cases, belief-acquisition or suspension of judgment meets standard conditions on willing: it can express stable character traits of the agent, it can be responsive to reasons, and it is compatible with a subjective awareness of the available options.